October 2013 Newsletter

October 2013

…But when they were oppressed they cried out to you.

From heaven you heard them,

And in your great compassion you gave them deliverers.” 

Nehemiah 9:27




Dear Friend:

God’s assurance of compassion and deliverance endures from the time that the prophet and leader of the repatriating Jewish exiles, Nehemiah, prayed to God and through to our day.  I am writing to you as I embark on a follow-up journey to Nigeria with a layover planned to briefly visit the International Criminal Court in The Hague, The Netherlands in order to present a report on the lack of prosecution of Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria.

My plans for this trip changed after my arrival, and we diverted from visiting the Tabitha Orphan project to which others on our team two weeks ago brought needed supplies and finances as mentioned in the enclosed newsletter.   Instead, I visited with Nigerian refugees who have fled to the neighboring country of Cameroon.  Boko Haram terrorist activity taking place within various parts of Borno State made it too dangerous for us to go there despite the promise of a military escort.  We prayerfully decided to journey through adjacent Adamawa State to meet with refugees just across the state line in Gwoza, Borno State, although we were unable to see the destroyed properties due to the security risk.  We asked pastors to bring some of the refugees hiding in neighboring Cameroon to return to meet with us.  We interviewed widows and others from the group of 150 refugees who waited more than a day for our arrival.  The refugees told us that on May 25, Boko Haram insurgents first burned down three churches in Gwoza area to test what the authorities would do.  Since nothing was done, the terrorists attacked again and burned down another 24 churches as well as 318 homes of Christians.  When Christian leaders pleaded to local police for help, they were told to use bows, arrows and stones to protect themselves—consequently all the Christians fled.  Although they would like to return to their homes, the lack of security makes that impossible.  After distributing clothing we brought with us and attempting to encourage them with words of comfort from the Bible, we prayed with them.  Please keep them in your prayers, particularly that God will deliver them.


In HIS Grace and Peace,

Ann J. Buwalda, Executive Director